Japanese spider crab (Takaashigani)

A photo of Japanese giant crab (Takaashigani)

The appearance of Japanese giant crab (Takaashigani)

Common name: Japanese spider crab, Japanese giant crab, Giant spider crab

Japanese name: Takaashigani (高足蟹、高脚蟹)

Scientific name: Macrocheria kaempferi (Temminck,1836)

Nigiri sushi detail: Japanese spider crab (Takaashigani) Nigiri sushi


The Japanese spider crab (Takaashigani) is the largest crustacean in the world. In Japan, it is distributed on the Pacific Ocean side from the coast of Iwate Prefecture to Kyushu. It inhabits the seafloor at depths of 50 to 800 meters, slightly offshore. The carapace length is about 40 cm and the carapace width is 30 cm. The body is pear-shaped. A grown male can exceed 3 meters when its legs are spread out to the left and right. Its body color is reddish brown with yellow and reddishbrown horizontal stripes on its legs. The fishing season is from December to February.

Suruga Bay, the Kii Peninsula coast, and Tosa Bay are the main production areas. It is traded as a local specialty and has a sweet, crab-like flavor. The basic way to eat it is steamed crab. Steaming removes the watery taste. The volume and elasticity are incomparable to snow crab (Zuwaigani) and king crab (Tarabagani), and eating a whole leg is very satisfying.

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